Harbaugh gaining on Urban… in Twitter followers


We’ve not been shy HERE… and HERE… and HERE… and HERE in making it known that those of us at CFT are unabashed fans of Jim Harbaugh‘s Twitter account. And, based on the raw numbers, we’re not even remotely alone.

Despite the account being barely two months old, the Michigan Man hired at the culmination of Project Unicorn  is already No. 2 among college football head coaches when it comes to the number of followers with 197,365 (as of approximately 8:40 a.m. ET Saturday). No. 1? With no hint of irony, it’s the head coach of Michigan’s bitter rival, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, with 240,279 followers as the former attempts to narrow the canyon-esque on-field gap between the two programs.

There are actually three Big Ten head coaches inside the Top 10 — Penn State’s James Franklin is ninth with 100,857 followers — with another, Nebraska’s Mike Riley (96,004), just outside that realm at No. 11.

As is normally the case, though — except for back-to-back non-title seasons, of course — the SEC heads the class, with that conference’s coaches taking up six of the spots in the Top 10: Tennessee’s Butch Jones ( No. 3 with 174,981), Georgia’s Mark Richt (No. 4 with 161,369), LSU’s Les Miles (No. 5 with 159,534), Arkansas’ Bret Bielema (No. 7 with 117,414), Auburn’s Gus Malzahn (No. 8 with 114,835) and Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze (No.10 with 97,424).

The only SEC West coaches missing from that list are Nick Saban of Alabama and Dan Mullen of Mississippi State. The former has no Twitter account — and as a technophobe loathes texting, emailing and Googling as well — while the latter is 16th in followers with 74,259.

The only head coach not from the Big Ten or SEC in the Top 10 is Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, whose 124,309 followers are good for sixth nationally.

For a reference point as to those numbers, and because I’m bored at the moment, here are the Top Five in followers from back in early November, as detailed in The Fifth Quarter for Week 11: Miles (145,000), Jones (144,000), Richt (137,000), Meyer (134,000) and Kelly (118,000).

And one final important number: the 2015 season kicks off in exactly 180 days.

(Tip O’ the Cap: ElevenWarriors.com)

Clemson moving forward with $70 million renovation for Death Valley

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Clemson’s building spree around campus for the football program isn’t slowing down anytime soon thanks to the Tigers winning two of the last three national titles.

The school’s Board of Trustees on Friday approved a massive $68.7 million renovation of Frank Howard Field at Clemson Memorial Stadium — better known as Death Valley — and a further $7 million devoted to expanding the already impressive football operations building.

“We haven’t had a major redo of the west end since 2006 so it’s time to pay some attention to that side [after] we redid the suites on the north side and created the south club on the south side,” Athletic Director Dan Radakovich told WNCT.

The stadium renovations are pretty typical of schools nowadays as it will add premium seating (i.e. suites), a new video board and upgraded LED lighting that peers like Georgia and Alabama have used to rave reviews in recent years.

New locker rooms at the stadium are also set to be the first thing accomplished in the project, which officials hope will be completely wrapped up prior to the 2021 season.

Given everything the school is doing for the program lately, ‘If you win it, they will build it’ might just be the unofficial motto at Clemson nowadays. Sure seems more accurate in 2019 than ‘BYOG.’

Thanks to alcohol sales, UNC made over $1 million from concessions in just three home games

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The state of North Carolina opening up beer and alcohol sales at sporting events has had a big impact on the flagship university’s bottom line so far this year.

According to WTVD ABC 11, UNC sold over 43,000 “units” of alcohol (beer/wine/hard seltzers) in the Tar Heels’ first three home games of the year. The end result to all those purchases? The team took in over $1 million in concessions in games against Miami, Appalachian State and Clemson, with all three contests selling more alcohol than soda (and nearly as much booze as water).

The school confirmed a number of figures, including roughly $325,000 in concession sales for the home opener against the Hurricanes and $393,000 against the in-state rival Mountaineers. The defending national champions’ visit on Sept. 28 was the high point however, with $416,000 worth of goods sold and some 15,737 units of alcohol bought.

WRAL reports that all three games exceeded the previous record amount UNC took in from concessions, set back in November 2016 against local rival N.C. State.

Kenan Stadium will host three more home games in 2019 against Duke, Virginia and FCS Mercer. Safe to say all three can already get counted as wins for the bottom line regardless of the result on the field for Mack Brown’s team.

Baylor LB Clay Johnston to miss rest of the season with knee injury

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If No. 18 Baylor is going to continue their remarkable pursuit of a Big 12 title in 2019, they’re going to have to do it without their best defensive player.

A school official confirmed to the Dallas Morning News on Sunday that senior linebacker Clay Johnston will miss the rest of the season after injuring his knee in the Bears’ double overtime victory over Texas Tech on Saturday.

The news is a huge blow to Matt Rhule’s defense, which was tops in the Big 12 in a number of statistical categories and the No. 17 scoring defense nationally. Johnston was all over the field against the Red Raiders, racking up 10 tackles (1.5 TFL) and an interception to help edge their conference rivals and remain undefeated.

For the season, which will sadly be Johnston’s last as a senior, he had 58 tackles, 2.5 sacks and that lone pick from Saturday. Freshman Matt Jones is listed as the next man up on the depth chart though given his youth and inexperience, it’s possible the Bears coaching staff will shift over a more veteran option to man the middle of the defense going forward.

Baylor doesn’t ease into the second half of the schedule either as they’ll hit the road to face a dangerous Oklahoma State offense in their first game without Johnston on Saturday.

Sorry Clemson, the other Tigers from Death Valley are the new No. 2 in the latest AP Poll

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Tide, Tigers and, oh my, some more Tigers. There was a new No. 2 team in the country thanks to the action in Week 7 and it’s not the defending champions either.

LSU assumed the spot behind No. 1 Alabama in the latest AP Poll — supplanting new No. 3 Clemson — after their big win over Florida on Saturday night in Baton Rouge. Ed Orgeron’s crew even picked up an extra first place vote in the process to give them 12 to Dabo Swinney’s 11 (the Tide had 30, No. 4 Ohio State had nine).

No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 7 Penn State and No. 8 Notre Dame all moved up in the poll while the No. 9 Gators and a tumbling Georgia rounded out the top 10.

Interestingly, Utah is the new No. 13 team after leapfrogging No. 14 Boise State. The Utes are a spot behind conference rival Oregon, who will take on new No. 25 Washington in Seattle this upcoming Saturday.

No. 20 Minnesota, No. 22 Missouri and No. 24 Appalachian State were also ranked for the first time this season — replacing Virginia, Wake Forest and Memphis.

The full AP Top 25 heading into Week 8:

  1. Alabama
  2. LSU
  3. Clemson
  4. Ohio State
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Penn State
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Florida
  10. Georgia
  11. Auburn
  12. Oregon
  13. Utah
  14. Boise State
  15. Texas
  16. Michigan
  17. Arizona State
  18. Baylor
  19. SMU
  20. Minnesota
  21. Cincinnati
  22. Missouri
  23. Iowa
  24. Appalachian State
  25. Washington